Football (or soccer, if you’d prefer)-meets-lifestyle brand Lack Of Guidance prides itself on “maintaining the principles of football and combining them with fashion and thought-provoking design,” as they told Hypebeast in a 2021 interview. LoG encourages looking at the beautiful game from a broad cultural perspective instead of simply paying attention to what’s happening on the pitch, and the latest translation of that ethos may be their most striking — and definitely most expensive — project yet: a handmade piggy bank sculpture of disgraced former FIFA head Sepp Blatter.
Dubbed Blatta o Plomo, the sculpture is a commentary on sportswashing and corruption, with a name that’s inspired by a phrase — “Plata o Plomo,” which translates to “silver or lead” in English — that Medellín cartel leader Pablo Escobar would threaten government officials with if they didn’t accept his bribes. Created by artist Nicole Pedder, the sculpture shows Blatter in a navy blue suit with a FIFA pin, a white shirt and a sky blue tie, with a coin slot on the top of his head where money can be deposited.
Blatter ran FIFA for 17 years before he resigned in December 2015 due to an investigation from the US Department of Justice regarding the organization’s supposed money laundering, bribery and fraud, and is banned from any association with the organization until 2027. He was also accused of arranging for FIFA to pay former UEFA president Michael Platini two million Swiss francs (roughly $2.1 million USD) in 2011. Though he was cleared of that charge in July, the 86-year-old-Swiss is still, to many football fans, a symbol of unchecked greed and corruption, and he re-entered the spotlight as the 2022 FIFA World Cup kicked off in Qatar: it was Blatter, who in 2010, awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar — a “tiny Gulf state with no football heritage” per ESPN.
“With the surrounding noise on human rights, worker deaths and image laundering, it is easy to forget what the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is really all about,” Lack of Guidance notes in Blatta o Plomo‘s product description. “It is about the founding message at the very heart of this global festival of football, which is, of course, corruption.”
Blatta o Plomo is available on the Lack of Guidance webstore now, and is priced at $6,835 USD. 100% of the profits from its sales will go to human rights funds.
Elsewhere in the world of activist art, an Eyes on Iran installation is now on display at New York City’s Roosevelt Island.